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Suttle to retirees: Open wallets

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 05:48 PM
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Suttle to retirees: Open wallets

All 5 unions (police, fire, craft, management, and clerks) will be filing a join law suit in Federal Court to stop this.

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100420/NEWS01/704209859#suttle-to-retirees-open-wallets

By Maggie O'Brien and Paul Goodsell
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITERS

Retired Omaha police, firefighters and civilian workers would have to pay at least an extra $1,000 a year and possibly as much as $8,400 more for health insurance under a plan announced Tuesday by the Suttle administration.

The proposal is intended to save the city $6.75 million a year. If approved by the City Personnel Board and the City Council, it would take effect July 1.

In fairness to our taxpayers, we cannot afford to wait any longer to reduce the cost of the current city health care system, Mayor Jim Suttle said at a press conference. To not take action now will only make the problem more difficult to solve in the future.

But Suttle's proposal also may have to clear legal hurdles that have kept past administrations from making changes in retiree health benefits.

The World-Herald reported Monday that Richard O'Gara, the city's human resources director, sent a letter last week to retirees warning them that changes were coming, although he offered no specifics. Tuesday, Suttle and O'Gara outlined their proposal.

Omaha now provides health benefits to nearly 1,100 former employees and their families from the time they retire until they reach age 65 and qualify for the federal Medicare program. In most cases, the city covers 100 percent of the premium, although some retirees pay modest premiums.

FULL story and video at link.

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